Tottenham Hotspur Season Review 12/13 - "They've Never Had It Any Better"

Sent a list of questions as part of a season review for another website he writes for, our editor Raj Bains decided to do away with exclusivity and publish it here first. Positivity is the correct approach, he believes, and there should be little room left for dissapointment.

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- The ‘I fucking love this game’ highlight of the season?

There’s been a good few this year in all honesty. Manchester United home and away, Manchester City at home, Arsenal at home and West-Ham away all stand out. Every time Andre Villas-Boas and Steffan Fruend celebrate on the touchline is amazing too, god love them. It’s been a genuinely great season, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.

- The season ticket shredding moment?

Not many for me in all honesty. There’s been the momentarily disappointing, but nothing to dent my overall optimism. Many will point to Fulham at home, and games earlier on in the season like West-Brom and Wigan, but taking the entirely new coaching staff in to account, turnaround of players and new system; I’m still convinced this season has been an unequivocal overachievement all things considered.

- Moment that just about summed it all up?

I think a few statistics just about do it; no penalty awarded all season long, although having several blatant ones turned away. Club record 72pts in the Premier League, enough to finish second a few years ago when Chelsea did it with 71, and enough to finish top four in 13 previous seasons. To think, certain previous managers of ours had the audacity to tell us that we’ve “never had it any better”.

- Got the right manager?

Without a shadow of a doubt. He’s had a squad riddled with injury all season, with the old spine gutted from it in the summer. Not enough has really been made of the loss of Modric, Van Der Vaart and King, with the likes of Kaboul and Sandro missing for large parts of the season to add to it. He’s gotten the best from that squad in a manner beyond all expectation, so as I say, a complete overachievement. He’s surrounded himself with a coaching staff of good quality and experience in bridging the gap between promising youth talent and the first team; so we’re very much building for the future and looking long-term.

- Player of the season?

Gareth Bale, obviously. However, he doesn’t need any further superlatives adding to his name for the time being, does he? The supporting cast, if you will, of Dembele, Lennon, Lloris, Vertonghen and Dawson have all been excellent. Sandro may well have been the player of the year should he have escaped injury, and was definitely the standout performer for the first half of the season. New signings such as Gylfi Sigurðsson and Clint Dempsey may not have set the world alight, but have proved to be essential squad members, and played huge parts in the success of our season.

- What would you change next term if you were the gaffer?

Depth, mainly. Our starting team is just about one of the best in the league, but we need to get in some good quality cover should one of the starters get injured and to allow seamless rotation across the various competitions we’ll be competing in. I presume that a new left-back, central midfielder and a striker or two will be the priority, but it’s essential we get the lions share of our business done early should we want to start the season off positively.

- Which player would you like to sign?

Personally, I’d love to have Luka Modric back from Real Madrid, but that’s highly unlikely now he’s finally making an impression on their first team, I’d really hate to see him at one of our domestic rivals should Real decide to sell though, he’s different class. I’d have Bale on a new contract and get in another striker.

- Biggest own-goal?

Failing to sign a striker in either window and cover for Sandro once he was injured too wasn’t the smartest. In literal terms, playing Brad Friedel once we’d signed Hugo Lloris has been understandable, but maddening all the same. Friedel may have been competent last season, but he’s been distinctly average this time around; between him and Gallas, they’ve had their own competition of “who’s the greater liability?” at stages this year, to nobody’s amusement.

- Biggest tosser?

Lord Alan Sugar. No more than a reality television star in my book anymore – he needs to stop tweeting nonsense about Tottenham on an annoyingly regular basis as it’s becoming increasingly infuriating and wide of the mark. Little more than an aging fool with a blackberry and a catchphrase, little differentiates him from most Little Britain characters these days.

- Best chant?

The footage from this season’s fan organised ‘1882’ trip to Barnet’s Underhill stadium to play Arsenal in the U21’s league was exceptional. The entire 1882 movement is there to remedy modern football and the lack of atmosphere present in the Premier League. Songs such as “shoes off if you love Tottenham” gained nationwide coverage from places such as The Daily Mail, and When Saturday Comes magazine. It’s a cause any Tottenham fan with their heart in the right place would look to get behind, 1882.org.uk for more details.

- Player’s tweet of the season?

Anything from Benoit Assou-Ekotto. A much loved cult figure at Tottenham these days, his tweets highlight his often-hilarious personality. Sadly, I think he could be sold on this summer, but he’ll be missed. A mention for the official Tottenham social media team too, who’ve transformed the online profile of the club to become far more engaging and personable. Little things like that being considered matters to the fans, as silly as it sounds.

- Best laugh you had all season?

Arsenal getting beaten by Bradford? But for me, it’s the double-act that are fast becoming god’s GIF to the world in the form of Andre Villas-Boas and Steffan Fruend’s touchline celebrations. The highlight? An overpumped Villas-Boas celebrating a goal in the Europa League at home, physically shoving away a member the coaching staff approaching to give him a hug. Wonderful scenes. We adore passion like that at Tottenham.

- How do you plan to get through the summer without football?

Music. Glastonbury. Beer. Holiday. All the things a growing boy wants and needs.

Tottenham are never far away from my mind though, in honesty. Editing SpursStatMan.com means the owner and I will be planning for the season ahead, improving the site and plotting any future expansions.

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